I’ve never seen “The Shining”. Or, at least, that’s what I thought. It turns out that every single shot in that movie has been recycled, homage’d, and parodied in the last 40 years. It gives the whole movie a weird sense of déjà vu as your brain struggles to identify which scenes you think you’ve seen before.
It is a beautiful and kinaesthetic film. The camera chases the action in such a way as to leave you exhausted. The fact that the characters never blink adds to the sense of intensity. The musical score piles on the pressure. It is a nerve-wracking watch.
But, for all that, it’s not a particularly scary movie. It isn’t too gory, the ghostly elements are subtle, and there are no jump-scares. As with most Kubrick films, it leaves you wanting to know the answers while only providing tantalising clues – so the mystery never quite resolves itself. That makes it perfect fodder as a social-object – around which a thousand fan-theories can emerge – but leaves the casual viewer unsatisfied.
Oh, and Jack Nicholson’s eyebrows deserved an Oscar nomination in their own right.